Vitamin C has become an increasingly popular ingredient in cosmetic skin care products. In 1992, Dr. Sheldon Pinnell of Duke University published the results of a study that proved the vitamin-C form of L-ascorbic acid reduced sun damage. Now, in the cosmetics world, vitamin C is a star ingredient in facial serums.
Vitamin C is crucial to the body’s immune system, and serves as an aggressive free-radical fighter. It can increase cellular turnover and improve the skin matrix by stimulating collagen synthesis. L ascorbic acid is also an antioxidant that attacks free radicals, which damage your skin cells and leads to premature aging. Vitamin C can help protect your skin from sun damage, especially when combined with other nutrients like Vitamin E. It can also heal sun damage like brown spots, by making skin color more even and reducing hyper pigmentation. In order to get these benefits, you need to use a certain concentration of Vitamin C at a certain pH. Serums are the usually the most effective formulations and are suitable for many skin types.
To reap the benefits from vitamin C, buy concentrated versions such as serums that have been stabilized to reduce breakdown. To get the best results, you need a concentration of 15%-20% of L ascorbic acid. Most creams and lotion are at 10% or less, leaving them less effective than serums. In order for L ascorbic acid to penetrate the skin, it needs to be a rather acidic formulation.
Creams are designed to be mild, so they don’t penetrate as well. They aren’t useless; they just are not the best choice for serious skin problems like wrinkles and scars. If you’ve tried different Vitamin C skin care products and didn’t get the results, you should probably try serums.
A facial serum is not the same as a facial moisturizer. A serum is often lighter and thinner in consistency compared to a moisturizer, is applied to the face after cleansing, and before the moisturizer. Serums usually have specific functions, such as anti-aging or free-radical protection. Serums are able to penetrate deep into the skin layers, while moisturizers address only the superficial surface tissue and its condition. A facial serum with vitamin C provides the most benefit in the vitamin’s topical application.
One of the benefits of Vitamin C serum is that they are usually oil free formulations that are suitable for oily skin. They can also be followed with your favorite moisturizer. Serums usually lack creamy, soothing ingredients, so sensitive skin types may need to follow up with a cream or lotion.
Strong serums can be acidic and may create a peeling effect. One of the Vitamin C serum benefits is exfoliation, which is a powerful skin care technique. The acidity can be irritating for many individuals if they start off with a high concentration. You should use a cream or lotion for a few weeks before hand to reduce the chance of irritation. Your first serum should be around 10% concentration before moving up to 15% or 20%.
When choosing the best Vitamin C serum, brand and strength make a big difference. Don’t use a serum past it’s expiration date because it can actually cause more damage to your skin. Beware of serums that are tinted yellow, as this is a sign the product has degraded.